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Sonelgaz CEO says Algeria's renewable energy target is utopia

Solar power in Algeria Source: russavia on flickr.com (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

February 23 (SeeNews) - Algeria's renewable energy development programme is "practically an utopia", the CEO of state-owned utility in charge of electricity and natural gas Sonelgaz, Noureddine Bouterfa, said.

The statement was made at the opening of the 5th Symposium of Algerian Gas Industry Association (AIG), held in Algiers last week and followed by minutes the speech of Minister of Energy Salah Khebri who  talked about the ambitious programme of Algeria to have 22 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2035.

According to Bouterfa, Algeria can realistically add 7 GW of solar thermal capacity and 8 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity and achieve a 10% share of green energy in the electricity mix over the next 20 years.

Achieving these "resized" targets will be difficult enough, even if renewable energy supply chain in the country is fully integrated and financing is arranged, which is totally not the case at the moment, Sonelgaz CEO noted.

"Sonatrach and Sonelgaz need to exist the low prices circle before any investment is considered," Bouterfa underlined.

Algeria is highly dependent on en­ergy revenues. Oil and gas currently  account for more than 60% of the government revenue and make up over 90% of export earnings.

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Browse all articles from Mariyana Yaneva

Mariyana is a founding member of the Renewables Now team. With nine years of professional experience in renewables she has built strong expertise in the wind industry and French-speaking markets.

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